Deana Carter is a country singer-songwriter who rose to fame in the mid-1990s with her debut album *Did I Shave My Legs for This?*. She is also the daughter of Fred Carter Jr., a renowned session guitarist who played with many famous artists, including Johnny Cash. But is Deana Carter related to Johnny Cash by blood or marriage? The answer is no, but there is a connection between the two families.
The Carter-Cash Connection
Johnny Cash was married twice in his life. His first wife was Vivian Liberto, whom he met in 1951 and married in 1954. They had four daughters: Rosanne, Kathy, Cindy and Tara. However, their marriage was strained by Cash’s drug addiction, infidelity and constant touring. Cash would begin a romantic relationship with June Carter, a member of Cash’s touring cast, which led to Liberto filing for divorce from the “Folsom Prison Blues” performer in 1966. Cash and Carter would tie the knot two years later after Cash had gotten clean.
June Carter was born into a musical family. She was the daughter of Ezra and Maybelle Carter, who were part of the pioneering country group The Carter Family. June had two sisters, Helen and Anita, who also performed with her as The Carter Sisters. June was a talented singer, songwriter, comedian and actress. She co-wrote one of Cash’s biggest hits, “Ring of Fire”, and won several Grammy awards with him.
June Carter had three children from her previous marriages. Her first husband was Carl Smith, a country singer with whom she had a daughter, Carlene Carter, in 1955. Her second husband was Edwin “Rip” Nix, a former football player and race car driver with whom she had a daughter, Rosie Nix Adams, in 1958. Her third husband was Johnny Cash, with whom she had a son, John Carter Cash, in 1970.
The Fred Carter Jr. Factor
Fred Carter Jr. was a prolific session musician who played guitar, dobro, mandolin and bass on hundreds of recordings by various artists. He was born in Louisiana in 1933 and moved to Nashville in 1959 to pursue a career in music. He became one of the most sought-after studio musicians in the city, working with legends like Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Dolly Parton and many more.
Fred Carter Jr. also played with Johnny Cash on several occasions. He was part of the backing band for Cash’s famous live album *At Folsom Prison* in 1968. He also appeared on some of Cash’s studio albums, such as *Hello, I’m Johnny Cash* (1970), *Man in Black* (1971) and *The Junkie and the Juicehead Minus Me* (1974).
Fred Carter Jr. married Anna Davis in 1961 and they had three children: Deana Kay Carter (born in 1966), Jeff Carter (born in 1968) and Ronnie Carter (born in 1970). Deana inherited her father’s musical talent and learned to play guitar at an early age. She also grew up listening to her father’s records and was influenced by his diverse musical tastes.
Deana Carter started her career as a singer-songwriter in the early 1990s. She signed with Capitol Records Nashville in 1995 and released her debut album *Did I Shave My Legs for This?* in 1996. The album was a huge success, selling over five million copies and spawning six hit singles, including “Strawberry Wine”, “We Danced Anyway” and “How Do I Get There”. She followed up with three more albums for Capitol: *Everything’s Gonna Be Alright* (1998), *Father Christmas* (2001) and *I’m Just a Girl* (2003).
Deana Carter has also collaborated with other artists, such as Kenny Chesney, Darius Rucker, Trace Adkins and Willie Nelson. She has also ventured into acting, appearing in films like *The Badge* (2002), *Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy* (2004) and *A Very Country Christmas* (2017).
Deana Carter has been married twice. Her first husband was Chris DiCroce, whom she married in 1995 and divorced in 2001. Her second husband was Brandon Malone, whom she married in 2009 and separated from in 2012⁵. She has one son from her relationship with music video director Chris Hicky: Gray Hayes Hicky (born in 2004).
Deana Carter is not related to Johnny Cash by blood or marriage. However, she is connected to him through her father, Fred Carter Jr., who played guitar for Cash on several occasions. Deana Carter is also a successful country singer-songwriter in her own right, with several hit albums and singles to her name.